Many women look forward to the day they get married, getting general ideas from friends, TV shows, bridal magazines and websites. Although the wedding day is highly anticipated, many women don’t realize the frustration and stress that come along with planning the perfect day. A bridal budget is an excellent way to eliminate some of those frustrations. Not only can a bridal budget help break down the costs associated with planning your special day, but it can also act as a checklist so you don’t forget anything important.
Plan Your Budget
The first step in planning your bridal budget is to break down the various costs into general categories. You need to know the different costs you’ll be responsible for, as well as how much of your overall budget should be spent on those costs. Start making a list of the different costs you know will be a part of your wedding, from the reception to your wedding dress, and once you have a general idea of the major costs you can begin adding other costs to your budget.
When planning what will go on your bridal budget, you need to be aware of some unexpected costs many brides forget to plan for. If these unexpected wedding costs are not planned for, it can make it difficult to stick to the budget. Some unexpected costs could include the bachelorette party, décor items and even sales or service taxes. Each of these items have the potential to cost hundreds of dollars extra, and when combined, even more. In order to plan for these items and ensure you stay within your budget, do some research on those extra costs. Decide which of these costs need to be added to your bridal budget and which ones can be left off.
Ask For Help
Traditionally, the parents of the bride pay for most of the wedding expenses while the parents of the groom pay for the rehearsal dinner. Although this may seem ideal for the soon-to-be-married couple, this does not always happen. Many times, the bride and groom are the ones funding their big day. Even if you are not following a traditional budget, you can still ask both sets of parents for help. According to bridal etiquette, you can politely bring up your wedding budget with your parents and in-laws. Ask them if there are any costs they’d like to pay for and figure out how much they are willing to contribute for those events. Even if they pay for a single cost such as the reception or the rehearsal dinner, that gives you more of your budget to spend on other important details.
Stick to the Final Budget
Once you have your budget planned out, it’s important to stick to it. Use a wedding budget worksheet to organize the items on your budget and write the budgeted amount next to each item. Next, keep track of the vendor estimates and the actual amount you spend to ensure you stay within you set budget. If possible, find ways to save on some of the costs so that you have extra funds available. You can usually find great deals on women’s wedding bands, which allows you to stay within your budget without sacrificing quality.
As you complete your wedding budget worksheet, you might notice that the amount spent is not the same as your budgeted amount. Spending less than the budgeted amount is ideal, but you might spend more on certain costs. In order to stay within the final budget amount, keep a running tally of the budget amount you have left. If possible, use a green and red highlighter to mark where you’ve stayed within your budget and where you’ve gone over. This will give you a visual on the areas you need to cut costs and can help you allocate additional funds to cover those extra costs.